Rishi Sunak has pledged to cut taxes and make Britain “the best country in the world to do business” ahead of this week’s autumn statement.
The Prime Minister, making a speech on the economy just days before Wednesday’s fiscal event, promised that now “inflation is halved… [we can] turn our attention to cutting tax”.
He listed “five long-term decisions” for the economy and public finances: reducing debt, cutting tax, building sustainable energy, backing British businesses and delivering world-class education.
Sunak told an audience at a north London college: “I want to cut taxes. I believe in cutting taxes. What clearer expression could there be of my governing philosophy than the belief that people – not governments – make the best decisions about their money?”
But maintaining his focus on fiscal discipline, Sunak warned that he would not make any changes that would risk pushing inflation higher.
He said: “My argument has never been that we shouldn’t cut taxes. It’s been that we could only cut taxes once we control inflation and debt – first cut inflation, then cut taxes.
“We can’t do everything all at once. It will take discipline and we need to prioritise but over time, we can and we will cut taxes.”
If any tax cuts are announced, Sunak hinted they would be made to benefit businesses first.
He said: “This is our message to business. The Chancellor and I spent most of our careers in business.
“We understand, we care, we get it and we’re acting to make this the best country in the world to do business.”
Sunak said his government wants to “support businesses to invest, innovate and grow through lower taxes and simpler regulation”.
He added: “That’s why the chancellor is cutting taxes directly on investment.
“And it’s why we’re cutting taxes to encourage innovation because new ideas and ways of doing things are the most important way to raise our productivity.”